For Israel: Better a bad press than a good epitaph.

Barry Rubin’s latest post is an exceptionally cogent and lucid reply to a column recently in the New York Times written by Tom Friedman, and serves as an important response to those, like Friedman, who continue to demand – from the safety afforded to them by life in places like New York City and London, far from the conflict they opine about – that Israel make territorial concessions without ever acknowledging the very dire consequences which may result from such withdrawals.   Of course, for those following the upheavals in Egypt, its important to note that Rubin’s analysis and predictions have been spot-on, and his blog has become required reading for those who seek to gain insights about the Middle East which the mainstream media rarely, if ever, provides.

Recently, it was revealed that President Barack Obama had consulted Tom Friedman in formulating his Middle East policy. Here’s an example of where disastrous policy comes from. 

Friedman writes:

“Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel is always wondering why his nation is losing support and what the world expects of a tiny country surrounded by implacable foes. I can’t speak for the world, but I can speak for myself. I have no idea whether Israel has a Palestinian or Syrian partner for a secure peace that Israel can live with. But I know this: With a more democratic and populist Arab world in Israel’s future, and with Israel facing the prospect of having a minority of Jews permanently ruling over a majority of Arabs — between Israel and the West Bank, which could lead to Israel being equated with apartheid South Africa all over the world — Israel needs to use every ounce of its creativity to explore ways to securely cede the West Bank to a Palestinian state.”

By the way, the picture of “a minority of Jews permanently ruling over a majority of Arabs” has not been accurate since 1994, that’s 17 years ago. The Palestinian Authority rules over the West Bank Arabs. Hamas, which has now merged with the Palestinian Authority, rules in the Gaza Strip. The only non-citizen Arabs that “Jews” are ruling over are those in east Jerusalem, according to an agreement that Israel made with the PLO.

So a big part of Israel’s difficulty is that people like Friedman are perpetuating anti-Israel lies instead of attacking them.

In other words, if your enemies lie about you does that mean that you must take huge risks? There’s a clever bumper sticker that says: Never apologize. Your enemies don’t care and your friends don’t need it.

Read the rest of Rubin’s essay, here.

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